Am I the only one who keeps thinking that I need more apps on my phone? It’s not that I want more, it just seems that I need more. Does anyone else think 24/7 is something we maybe were not really ready for as a race, meaning the human race? Did we get a vote on this and I missed it?
It doesn’t matter what time it is in 2018, I can get anything out there I want 24/7, but is that really appropriate?
If I can get anything anytime now, do I need to be a different way in this world than I used to be? A way that was neither needed nor available before I could get anything and everything all the time? Used to be, I did not have to worry about having it all: I could not have it all and didn’t even worry about it. The TV really did turn off at 1 a.m., with the “Star Spangled Banner” playing and a video of a flag waving; the stores really closed at night and reopened in the morning; people were at home on the weekend or went shopping and didn’t “look up” whatever they thought they might need on Saturday before they got there.
Now before you think I am complaining, be very clear: I am not. I think we live in the most exciting time EVER, and I am not the least bit nostalgic about the Good Ole Days. I want to snap, tweet, and whatever people are doing now (in 2014 I would have said “post on Facebook,” but we all know how passé that is now).
I am not saying I yearn for another time, no. What I yearn for is more mastery of the time I am in now.
If I see that I am finding more and more ways to be alone with a machine, just like you are right now, at the very time that I am also beginning to see that I am only being when I am being in the world with others, then what do I see?
If my brain is set up as something that operates my body to preserve the “self,” whatever my brain thinks that is, and the self includes my wanting to be right about that self, and wants to be protected from upset (that is, anything that disagrees with it), then I could make a strong case for the advantages of choosing to live in a screen for good. Ready Player One is a book about that reality.
Then today I discovered my client. She was really there. And the woman with whom I share an office: I could really see her. I could see the lines on their faces, their chests going up and down with each breath. They were really real. I can meet real people online, but being online is not like looking at the beauty of a real face.